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Despite the Paradoxes and Plot Holes, Looper is an Entertaining Adventure
claudio_carvalho17 February 2013
In 2074, it is possible to travel in time but also forbidden. However, when the criminal organizations want to kill someone, they send their victims to thirty years in the past where well paid hit men called "loopers" kill them and get rid of their bodies. When the mobsters decide to call off a contract with any killer they send him back to be killed by himself and close the loop.

In 2044, in Kansas, Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is one looper addicted in drugs. He learns that the powerful Rainmaker has assumed control of the criminal organizations and is closing all the loops. Soon Joe has to kill the "old" Joe (Bruce Willis) but he is surprised and fails. Joe chases old Joe but the criminal Abe (Jeff Daniels) sends his killers to hunt him down.

Joe meets old Joe that tells him that his beloved wife was killed by the Rainmaker's gang. Old Joe also tells that he has found three possible children that might be the Rainmaker in the future and he will kill them to protect his wife. However they are found by the loopers and Joe flees and stumbles with Sara (Emily Blunt) in her farm. She helps him and soon Joe discovers that her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon) is the Rainmaker and he decides to protect them from the determined old Joe.

"Looper" is one of those fast paced action movies that do not give time for the viewer to think about. There are a great number of plot holes and paradoxes, especially in the relationship between Joe and old Joe, and if the viewer thinks a little, he or she will find many inconsistencies in the story. One question: wouldn't be easier if the mobster kill his victims and send their bodies to be disposed in the past? Despite of that, "Looper" is an entertaining adventure. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Looper: Assassinos do Futuro" ("Looper: Assassins from the Future")
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Refreshingly original
markdroulston27 September 2012
Sitting here the day after viewing Rian Johnson's Looper, parts of it are still falling in to place. Standing out amongst this years crop of mostly underwhelming sequels and comic book adaptations, Looper thunders onto the screen, showing, much like Inception did two years ago, that there is a place in 2012 for fresh material and just how good it can be when it's done right.

The film tells the story of Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a hit-man for an organised crime syndicate tasked with assassinating targets sent from the future. After being confronted with his future self (Bruce Willis) and failing to perform, Young Joe is forced to track down Old Joe and finish the job before being tracked down himself by the nefarious mob led by Abe (Jeff Daniels). However there is much more to the story than the basic premise, and Johnson isn't afraid to keep details close to his chest until later in the film than most movies of this type, so I won't spoil them here.

While certainly paying subtle homage to its predecessors, Looper is a stunningly original sci-fi masterpiece, vastly superior to any of the higher profile action releases this year. While certainly made on a much larger playing field than Johnson's previous work (Brick, The Brothers Bloom), there is still a small-scale, independent feel to the film, and it benefits from clearly staying completely under the control of the young director. Delivering excitement sprinkled with thoughtful themes of personal sacrifice, he offers us much to chew on.

Johnson understands that a successful action film doesn't need an explosion every ten minutes, and allows ample time for developing character and story, something which will likely divide audiences. Looper is very deliberately constructed, and after the highly charged opening establishing the intricate time-travel premise and direction of the plot, Johnson scales back the action almost too much as he ambitiously juggles the many and varied story elements he has created. Thankfully, any weakness in the middle of the film is largely overshadowed as Johnson launches the third act with such ferocity that the stark change of pace leaves you breathless.

Despite the problems in the middle of the film, Looper overcomes its flaws purely by being that rare beast in Hollywood nowadays, the totally original script. Not an adaptation, not a sequel or remake, but a fresh idea from the mind of an immensely talented young film-maker. In a perfect world, Looper would be the game changer it deserves to be, slapping Hollywood studios across the face and announcing that not everything has to be a PG-13 franchise based on a comic book. It's unlikely that this will the case, and it remains to be seen whether or not the film will even be a success, but it's encouraging to see that there are young auteurs at work who are fighting to craft new and exciting stories, even if we only get to see the results every year or two.

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Speculative enterprise
bkoganbing2 October 2012
When one deals with time travel as the process has not been discovered everything written or filmed about is always speculative. For instance the Jean-Claude Van Damme film Time Cop shows something quite different when we meet our future and past selves as Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis do here in Looper.

Instead of the forces of law and latent fascism getting control of time travel in Time Cop, Looper has organized crime doing it and eliminating problems that Robert DeNiro in Casino remarked are usually swallowed up by the Nevada desert. Levitt is a Looper one who travels ahead to the future, specifically trained as an assassin and then goes back to his present origin and as targets come through a time portal, they get eliminated. Then at some point, the future selves are eliminated and the present selves just go on with normal lives as we define normal.

Bruce Willis is Levitt's future self only he doesn't like the idea of elimination. And the big boss Jeff Daniels doesn't like how Levitt screwed up the elimination of Willis. The chase is on.

Another question answered by Laurence Olivier in The Boys From Brazil said that we should not eliminate a cloned Hitler. Here a telekinesis gene has entered our gene pool and someone in the distant future has been harnessing its full potential to battle organized crime. That's an even bigger mission that the Levitt/Willis problem.

Looper is a nice and original take on time travel with an outstanding cast giving some standout performances. Note particularly Emily Blunt as the mother of young Pierce Gagnon who has powers and abilities far beyond those of other mortal beings. And young Gagnon is something to see as well.

Looper is definitely worth the price of admission.
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Very clever, very original and very welcome.
janus-2029 September 2012
I would have thought it doubtful that anyone could have anything new to add to the sci-fi sub category of time travel movies. After watching Looper yesterday, i'm happy to report that Rian Johnson has removed those doubts and given me hope that sci-fi in Hollywood can be more than just empty spectacle.

First off i would say, don't get discouraged from watching the film if you think its going to be too complex or difficult to follow. To follow the story and recognise characters motivations does require a little concentration, but not to the point that you wont enjoy the action beats and other more visceral elements.

The story is well constructed, information and plot points are presented at an entertaining and well judged pace. There are some nice little throw away visual references and metaphors which, if you catch them, add a nice texture to the story and stop it feeling too clinical in its plotting.

The script is tight, hard edged and very dry in its humour, the actors are fantastic. I think its fair to say that Joseph Gordon-Levitt is well on his way to being "one to watch", Bruce Willis pops back to life here, clearly enjoying himself again, (although i wouldn't say this is solely a Bruce Willis movie in that definition).

This is a brilliant movie experience, its an wholly original and entertaining idea, that the writer/director has managed to successfully transpose to film without, it would appear to a layman, pressure or interference from external sources.

No matter how much of a good time you will have watching this film (and you will), Hollywood could stand to learn much more from it.
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High Concept Intrigue
billygoat107118 October 2012
Looper seems like it's inspired by Philip K. Dick's several works. It's a Sci-Fi story that is set in the future with a quite interesting concept. The ads shows this as a typical nonstop action film. Surprisingly, it's much better than anyone would expect. It's actually a mind blowing film that tells an unpredictable story and has a great amount of thrills. The performances are strong and the directing is solid. Unlike most modern Sci-Fi films they depend on the action and the explosions. Looper is all about letting the audience intrigue all the way on the concept.

The important thing you should expect in this film is the brilliance of the concept than the action. Yeah, there's fighting and gunfights but it's mostly about the idea. The film tells it in a stylish and mind boggling way which makes it compelling. The story development is clever. The first half lets the viewers root for the film's world until the plot twists. It's great when a scene suddenly becomes confusing then it all make sense afterwards. Aside of its storytelling, Joseph Gordon-Levitt did a great job playing the young version of Bruce Willis as he imitates Willis' accent and gruffness. He still plays the role with his own style. Gordon-Levitt is energetic and striking. The rest of the cast are excellent.

The production design is decent. Its futuristic world looks magnificent and their weaponry looks awesome. The camera-work is one of the merits of the film. It makes the action look stylish and brings cool vertigo to the trippy moments. Every shot of the film is impressive. The most interesting one is when Joe was in the fields, you prominently see a cloud trail on the sky remarking the scene. The script is smart enough for explaining its concept and making things gripping.

Looper is one of those films that would stuck in your head in a long time because it's plain brilliant. It's so different to popular modern Sci-Fi films. This film is not an action movie cookie-cutter that leaves the high concept as the background of the film. This film simply narrates, mind-bends, and intrigues which makes it amazingly interesting. The idea is original with some inspiration. Looper has the art, the heart, the tension, and the brains that any science fiction fans would love.
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This time travel crap; just fries your brain like an egg…"
TheSquiss25 September 2012
Time travel films open up all manner of questions because of the paradoxes every action and reaction produce. If X occurred, surely Y would happen, which means X wouldn't happen after all… And so it is with Looper.

Alas, to avoid dishing out hugely unpopular plot spoilers I need to skirt around the concerns, so you'll just have to come round with cake and we can discuss it in private. But there are some pretty substantial issues with Looper that cause questions to be asked and lead to more than a couple of possible explanations as to what exactly is going on. Don't see it alone; you'll need a friend around to discuss it on the journey home.

Equally, don't be put off. You don't need to be Einstein to enjoy Looper, as some of the audience proved…

In 2072, time travel is both possible and illegal and murder is more easily solved because corpses are harder to lose. However mobs and Mafiosi types are prevalent and have ingeniously devised a solution: tie your victim up and send him back in time to a location where a looper will be waiting to blow his/her brains out. However, when a looper's contract is up, they find themselves blowing the brains out of their older self. Except when looper Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) stares down the barrel at a version of himself that is thirty years older, Old Joe (Bruce Willis) outsmarts him and so begins a cat and mouse chase where there are multiples of each species and most of them aren't called Joe.

Confused? Good. Don't think any more or you'll confound yourself with your wondering and wandering along all the possible flows and tributaries that lead from them. Like, Is he actually... Dammit.

Along with the quirks, possibilities and matters left to interpretation, there are one or two clear boo-boos that cut against the rules writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick, The Brothers Bloom) has set himself. I'm sure you can work out from the subject matter that there are occasional murders so I'm giving nothing away by stating that a particular murder in 2027 cuts against the rules. It's not a major problem in terms of enjoyment but it does cast a shadow over everything if minor errors are not avoided.

There's only one way to watch Looper: suspend all disbelief, put your logic in stasis and get on with enjoying the romp. With that frame of mind employed, it's a superb film. No, it's not as intelligent a film as Inception, but it kicks the ass of Wanted and Gordon-Levitt is potentially a bigger star in the making than either Leonardo DiCaprio or James McAvoy.

I'm not sure that I buy Gordon-Levitt as a young Willis but the transition is simple and effectively executed and it needn't stand in the way of a couple of hours of great entertainment. He's matured as an actor and, though he's been stamping around Hollywood for a good couple of decades, it's the last five years or so that have really seen him ascend the ranks and there's no sign of his climb slowing with both Spielberg's Lincoln and Don Jon's Addiction (which he also wrote and directed) in the can and Premium Rush earning plaudits on both sides of the Atlantic.

As for Willis, it's good to see him earning his fee again in a film worthy of his presence rather than phoning it in for a fat wad in the truly awful The Expendables 2. Emily Blunt (Sara) and Jeff Daniels ably provide support, the former, sadly, barely stretched and the latter, as Abe, the loopers' boss, clearly enjoying himself. Equally, Paul Dano gives a wonderful, trademark sniveling wretch performance that is all too brief. But Looper belongs to Gordon-Levitt and One Tree Hill's Pierce Gagnon as the child, Cid, whose middle name is probably Damian. Unnerving is an understatement!

There is a very strong argument that the best person to direct a film is the writer because s/he knows it better than anyone. Clearly that wasn't the case with Maximum Overdrive (Stephen King being the fine writer who should never be allowed either in front of or behind a camera again) but with Looper it's a very strong case in point.

Johnson, though he bends his rules, has created a multi-layered, rapidly paced trip that is littered with bodies and to-die-for quips, to wit, "I cleaned you up. And put a gun in your hand." He juggles the time zones effortlessly and maintains the excitement while allowing sufficient moments for us to pause, cogitate and catch up before whipping us to the next sprint, jump or shoot-out. Though he has nothing (publicly) on the slate, there'll be plenty more from him in the next few years.

As is increasingly the case, my biggest complaint with last night's viewing has nothing to do with the film itself but with the screening, namely the blown speakers all along one side of the auditorium (big thumbs down to Cineworld) and the moron in front who played with his phone and gave muted shrieks of excitement every time there was a shot or splatter of blood, even taking the time to relive it with his friend. Who are these people? Why are they allowed to breathe? When will time travel come to my aid? Ah, but these are niggles and hopefully you won't be subjected to such when you watch Looper. And do see it. Maybe you'll absolutely hate the confusion it causes you, but if you don't mind giving a film some real thought and you enjoyed the possibilities of Inception, then Looper is for you.

Just don't think too hard. As Abe laments, "This time travel crap; just fries your brain like an egg…"

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We are entering a Loop 7/10
saadanathan7 August 2021
"Looper" by Rian Johnson is an impressive film with an original story. Centers in the future where assassins known as "Loopers" kill targets who are transported from the past by the mob. Joe, a skilled assassin discovers he has to kill his older self sent from the past and unveils a plot that will effect his life of both his and his older self. The movie is great and relies on the term of "cat and mouse" game between all characters. Joseph Gordon Leavitt is a great actor and portrays perfectly every role of his. As the main character he does a good job. Bruce Willis is amazing yet again, his performance reminded me of his role in "12 Monkeys": a traveler from time who is a skilled assassin and needs to stop a plot from happening. Emily Blunt is as always, Emily Blunt. I mean there's nothing wrong with her performance but her character is annoying and reminded me of her role in "Sicario". The film in general is good and has it's moments but I wouldn't watch it again or recommend it immediately after seeing the movie.
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Intelligent Science Fiction Thriller
tgooderson24 September 2012
Looper is a film that goes to extraordinary lengths to leave every base covered in its quest to avoid plot holes and inconsistencies and in my mind it deals with the problems associated with time travel very well. One thing I liked is that the older Joe is aware of everything the younger Joe is about to do which gives him an edge if they were to do battle. I also liked that the older Joe in true Bruce Willis style bypasses the whole idea of trying to work out how and why what is happening is happening by saying he can't be bothered to work it all out. As well as the older Joe having the advantage of memory over the younger Joe, the younger Joe in turn has his own advantages which become apparent. There were several times when I thought I'd worked out what was going to happen or what a particular character's arc was going to be but the film cleverly manipulates its audience, leading them down alleyways only to jump out at them from behind and spin them around. There is a nice early twist which gave me a smile and plenty more to keep you guessing right the way to the end. In the end it turns out that time travel plays second fiddle to another phenomenon which I was pleased by as there was no mention of this in the trailer which I've been trying to avoid for several weeks. The plot is multifaceted with each character having their own reasons for being where they are, when they are and doing what they are doing. It is a dense plot which explores several different ideas and concepts both personal and scientific.

As well as confidently dealing with a complex script which would have been very easy to either make too complicated or too full of holes, Writer/Director Rian Johnson (Brick) also creates a very believable future and fills it with people and events which feel plausible. Cities have continued to expand upwards and outwards but they themselves are filled with tent cities in which a large vagrant class live. Life is cheap and hard in this world in which the have's and have not's are much more separated than today. There is enough in the film to make to world feel as though it is our near future and the technology on display feels as though it is a few logical steps along the road. I especially liked the ingenious solution to running cars after the inevitable the oil crisis and there's also a great line about China in there which had a lot of people laughing.

The writing and direction are superb but another strength are the acting performances. Joseph Gordon-Levitt wears heavy makeup and prosthetics to make him look more like Bruce Willis and although this is occasionally a little distracting, it looks unnervingly good at times, especially closer up which is odd. The effect is actually better in close up than when JG-L is in the middle distance. Underneath the prosthetics though Gordon-Levitt delivers a fine performance, adopting a few of Willis' telltale mannerisms and affectations but avoiding pure mimicry. He appears confident and at ease in the dense lead role, carrying off a mixture of hard edged killer and caring young man while switching from one to the other with ease. Bruce Willis equally is very good but we have seen this kind of performance from him many times before. Nevertheless he is on good form here. The chemistry between the two leads was great and really helped with the believability of them being one person. Emily Blunt was another actor who performed very well and in a departure from her more familiar roles. She adopts a convincing American accent, drops a few F-Bombs and looks comfortable holding a gun. She brings to the fore the feminine caring side when it matters though. Probably the standout actor though despite the three A Listers is Pierce Gagnon, a very young child actor who is incredible in a pivotal role. He and Gordon-Levitt have some funny and tense scenes together which work very well.

Overall there was little I didn't like about Looper and it has gone straight into my Top 10 films of the year so far as well as being probably my favourite Sci-Fi since 2009's Moon. It treats its audience with respect and isn't afraid to keep you them of the loop for a while as it teases them with false and sometimes seemingly false information. It is well designed and acted and features a wonderfully multifaceted and intelligent story which rewards patience and concentration with a fantastic ending.

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Crazy ideas all jammed together and somehow works
SnoopyStyle27 August 2013
Rian Johnson (The Brothers Bloom, Brick) is the writer and director of this sci-fi film. Like his other projects, this has original if slightly off-kilter thinking in its story. It is not a regular sci-fi movie. There are some crazy ideas going on here. Time travel is not enough. There is also telekinesis, post collapse apocalypse, mob killings, and pre-planned suicide for hire (yeah figure that one out). Does it all make logical sense? I can't tell. But it sure was fun trying to follow it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is great as the young Bruce Willis. Emily Blunt is refreshingly new. Also staring is Paul Dano and Piper Perabo.
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All The Time in the World
patrickwigington30 September 2012
Looper is an exciting and mentally stimulating science fiction movie that goes above and beyond in the realm of creativity. Original and thought provoking in its execution, this is a movie about time travel with a future that is gritty, plausible, and fantastic to absorb.

Taking its cues from hard hitting gangster movies, the story follows Joe, a young man living in 2044 America that is crippled with economic collapse. He works for the mafia as a "looper". This is a job that requires some explanation. You see, 30 years from 2044, time travel will be invented. It is highly illegal, but is used by the mob to dump bodies, because it is impossible to do so in the future-future. Loopers get set times and places where they wait for their victims to appear, bound, gagged, and with a mask over their head. Sometimes a looper ends up killing himself from the future. This begins happening quite often, and rumor has it that a man named the Rain Maker is ordering the killings of all loopers. Joe does not seem to think much of this until his future self arrives, without a mask on. His future self escapes, looking for the child who will one day become the Rain Maker. Young Joe finds a woman and her young, troubled boy who are one of the people on Old Joe's map. He decides to wait there to confront his older self, to try and make things right with the mob.

The movie twists and turns in unexpected ways that create a true feeling of suspense. Rian Johnson takes major influences from the likes of Martin Scorsese to craft a cold and calculating crime film. However, Johnson makes a movie that is so original and eclectic that it is obvious this is the work of a man who knows how to tell a story. There is plenty of action, but it never becomes more important than the story or the characters. Johnson also wrote the script, and he brings humanity to all of the players involved. The introduction of alternate timelines is only the beginning of the insane subplots that pop up, and all fit nicely together. The gritty and subdued style invokes a noir aspect that only serves to enhance the movie.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays young Joe. He is fantastic as the cool, calm, and collected gunman. His face is altered with makeup to make him look more like old Joe, played by Bruce Willis. Levitt even speaks like the action star. Willis is really great in a subdued and complicated performance, although it would have been nice for his character to have had a more expanded role; he seems to fall into the role of the antagonist too quickly. Emily Blunt plays the hardened and self reliant mother of the boy old Joe is hunting. Blunt's character is used well and she gives an excellent performance.

Looper is a bizarre movie, and that is a very good thing. Exciting, thoughtful, and at times disturbing, this film is mesmerizing to watch. It's not often that an action film is even half as good as this one, and rarely are movies so much fun to watch.

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Could be a cult classic.
jdesando27 September 2012
"This time travel crap just fries your brain like an egg." (Abe)

Not since Children of Men (2006) and Source Code (2011) have I been as jazzed up as I am now about Rian Johnson's Looper. Here's sci-fi that will happily fry your brain as you figure out the implications of changing the future by altering the present. Also throw in thoughts about Christopher Nolan's Memento and Inception to get the flavor of Looper.

But as Sinatra sings, "Regrets I've had a few, but then too few to really mention," this film challenges you to think of the implications of reversing those regrets or keeping the future the same because you kind of like the way things went.

Joseph Gordon Levitt's Joe is a "looper," an assassin who goes into the past to murder someone needed to be absent in the future, 2072. The Mob, headed by a very relaxed and dangerous Jeff Daniels as Abe, determines to eliminate all loopers, and Joe is next on the list to kill himself by flashing back. Yes, it's existentially a difficult task, and therein lies the drama of this satisfying sci-fi.

With less CGI and few glitzy machines (in fact most of the vehicles look shabby 2012 and the loopers' weapon is a sawed-off Steampunk shot gun—how's that for past and future?), this thriller relies to an effective degree on the excellent cast to relay the challenges inherent in altering any past.

Because it's an intelligent tale, the overall theme of responsibility for our actions (the existential part) flows quietly from the action, be it as simple as running from the bad guys to the complexity of deciding on the sacrifices willing to be made to alter the future.

A leitmotiv of this film is that no one is immune from the effects of the past, Sinatra notwithstanding in his apparent satisfaction with how things turned out. For Looper, cult status is its future.
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Parenthood and Self-Sacrifice
yernelg27 December 2012
i always approach a film especially when it is classified as scifi with liberal suspension of disbelief. because it is only through that that i was able to appreciate such scifi gems as Stargate and Fifth Element and many other that were otherwise written off by these so-called critics.

Looper is one of those films that should be appreciated by its message more than its genre. it uses the science fiction medium, complete with action stunts and wonders, as an apt and well-sculpted vehicle to a very beautiful message of self-sacrifice and positive reinforcement parenthood. the film goes to extra length to make the story plausible and solid and the actors, including the 'rainmaker' child, did a marvelous job of pulling it off.

i've always believed that the soul of any film, even as i appreciate great plot twists and great special fx and great acting and direction (yeah, i said great too many times!), is the message and/or portrait it intends to get across. Looper made a kill for it.
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Time and Crime doesn't pay either way
dvc515928 September 2012
What would you do if one day you had a heart-to-heart talk with yourself, which is decades older than you? What if you were a hit-man and you were ordered to take out yourself? Such questions and much more are posed in Rian Johnson's "Looper", an excellent addition to the science- fiction genre. No wait, it isn't just science-fiction, it's also an action thriller and a crime drama (complete with noir-like narration) with a healthy dollop of romance. This movie knocked my socks off.

In the future, time-travel is illegal, and yet somehow some criminals managed to get their hands on the technology, and send targets back in time to be assassinated by hit men called Loopers. These Loopers, such as Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) live rich when the economic structure of the rest of society is crumbling around them. However, a thing called 'closing the loop' happens when the Loopers kill older versions of themselves sent back from the future - effectively eliminating all trace of the Loopers back to the organization which hired them. Trouble befalls Joe when he lets his guard down enough to let his older self (Bruce Willis) escape. How a young Kansas farm lady (Emily Blunt) and her son fit into this plot I will not reveal. One might be thinking "A- ha! I know where this is going" in many scenes, but Johnson is smarter than that. He has a trick up every sleeve, turning a potential cliché over its head. Such an intense ride. Such superb writing by Johnson who also directs the film with flair, and kinetics when duty calls him to. This being his first mainstream film, who knows what he'll come up with next.

Looper delivers. An ingenious, intelligent, daring screenplay which brings a fresh and thought-provoking twist to the time-travel genre while also inverting it. It has brutal violence in between the genuinely thrilling, adrenaline pumping action sequences - adding raw edge to the film. It is also a strong morality play - it blurs the line between hero-isms and villainous acts. The younger Joe, the hero of the film played by Gordon-Levitt in a smart-aleck performance, is a thug that kills people for money and luxury. The older version of the character as portrayed by Willis is a bruised, tortured, intense soul underneath all that toughness, a wounded, broken man who is determined to set things right his way - however morally skewered it is. Not forgetting a vulnerable and fragile performance by Blunt who provides a strong emotional and (non-cliché) romantic core to the younger Joe, and a mischievous, mysterious yet witty act from little Pierce Gagnon, who maintains the right balance of emotions for the role. Not forgetting Jeff Daniels as a businessman-like supervisor for the Loopers - charismatic at times, brutal at others.

Some very good cinematography by Steve Yedlin really shows nice, wide angles and refreshingly crisp action sequences in their glory - and also showcases the sleek production design, a futuristic Kansas metropolis not unlike the city of Blade Runner, only with more impoverished people. The special effects are good for what the budget is for the film but I strongly appreciate its subtlety for not choking on unnecessary CGI. It actually enhances the intensity of the film. Editing is crisp and paces the film nicely, without leaving too much or too little. Nathan Johnson's score is very good, actually, some old-school action orchestra work among the subtler parts can be heard here, with perfect timing, and it is a fine addition to the movie.

"Looper" is extremely entertaining and yet one hell of a film. Very intense and thrilling, very exciting, very thought provoking, substantially emotional and stylish and ultimately just damn great. We might see a cult of fans hoarding this movie soon. Just when you think there's hardly any more original sci-fi flicks, out comes this wallop of a film - surprisingly one of 2012's very best.

Overall: 90%

Eat your heart out, "Inception".
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Messed up story. So messed up and incomprehensible that I gave up in trying to understand it. Going nowhere.
imseeg7 December 2019
This movie is trying so hard to be special and smart that it totally misses the point.

Starts out promising and bleak and violent. And although I didnt understand the beginning of the story either I was still hoping for some comprehensible plot turn. It didnt come.

Any good? The actors are good. The photography is good. The mood is violent and bleak at first, which is quite daunting.

The bad: the writing. Fire the writer and then exile the writer to an uninhabitable planet. What an utter mess of a story!
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Looper is a thrill ride that has a nice blend of thrilling action and matters of the heart.
FlixChatter7 October 2012
Time travel sci-fi movies are inherently intriguing to me, so when I first saw the trailer with THIS cast, I knew I wanted to see it.

As in the trailer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays Joe, a specialized assassin, in an outfit called the Loopers. He lives in the year 2042 but the mob he works for lives 30 years ahead where time travel would've been invented. When his employer from the future wants to get rid of someone, they zap that person back 30 years where someone like Joe would be waiting with a big gun in hand, ready to blow them up to oblivion. The only rule is: never let your target escape... even if your target is you. The job seems easy enough, I mean, the targets are blindfolded, so it's not like they could really escape. That is, until one did, and that target happens to be his older self, in the form of Bruce Willis.

Now, before the action begins in full throttle, Director Rian Johnson sets up the story by introducing the Looper doing their jobs and how these junkies hit-men spend their lives in a dystopian future (is there any other kind in the movies??). "Loopers are well paid, they lead a good life..." Joe said in his narration, but what he means by 'good' doesn't mean a happy one and it's clear that Joe is disillusioned with his life.

Let me just say the less you know about the plot the better as I went in pretty much 'blind,' other than seeing the trailer weeks ago, and it's fun to see the story unravel in ways I didn't really expect. There's really a lot to chew on here, as do most time-travel movies, and I have to admit it was a bit mind-boggling to digest it all as I'm watching it, but now that I've processed the movie more, Johnson actually told the story well enough without an overly drawn-out exposition.

The strengths are in the performances, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who seems to only get better and better as he grows to be a force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. Seems like every time I see him, even in minor roles like in 'Inception' or 'The Dark Knight Rises,' he never fails to impress. I've got to admit though, his prosthetic make-up to make him look like Bruce Willis is distracting at times, but once I get into the story, I got used to it. In fact, in some scenes Gordon-Levitt's mannerism and expressions really do remind me of Willis! Now, I've always been a fan of Bruce. He's a bad ass guy with a heart and I feel that he sold me on the emotional moments as well as on the action front, in which he channels his iconic John McClane in the 'Die Hard' franchise. In fact, I kept waiting for him to yell 'Yiippiikayee' during some of the shootout scenes! I'm also impressed with Emily Blunt and child actor Pierce Gagnon who plays her little boy. Both played two key roles that serve as the emotional center of the story. Their paths crossed with both the younger and older Joe in a way that not only affect their own lives but the lives of Joe's fellow Loopers. Their scenes with Gordon-Levitt are well-played, though it could perhaps be tightened a bit as it does feel dragging at times. Jeff Daniels and Paul Dano also lend memorable supporting performances, Daniels is sort of a comic relief as Joe's manager who happens to be sent by the mob from the future.

It's refreshing to see a movie based on an original script, not an adaptation nor a remake. Despite all the time travel elements, the film also doesn't feel too science-fiction-y. I'm also glad Johnson doesn't pile on one action set pieces after another, instead there are a lot of quiet moments to establish character development that help you get immersed in Joe's journey.

Final Thoughts: Looper is a thrill ride that has a nice blend of thrilling action and matters of the heart. There are brutal action and some totally-unnecessary nudity here, but fortunately not so much so that derails my overall appreciation for it. At the core of this movie lies a heartfelt love story between a man and a woman, and also between a mother and his son. Highly recommended.
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Not bad, but not as good as it thinks it is
Leofwine_draca7 May 2014
LOOPER is the latest Hollywood movie to tackle the thorny topic of time travel. This one's a little bit like the Van Damme vehicle TIMECOP, although it strives to be less cheesy and more realistic thanks to the presence of former indie director Rian Johnson, who also made the high school murder mystery BRICK with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Gordon-Levitt plays an assassin who executes criminals sent back from the future for spurious reasons, although inevitably he soon finds his life spiralling out of control when things take an unexpected twist.

I really wanted to like this film. It feels fresh and appealing in many ways, and visually it's a triumph. Gordon-Levitt's performance is fine, although that prosthetic make-up is distracting, and it's fair to say that Bruce Willis is pretty good too, as this is probably the best performance he's given in a while. The action sequences, when they come, are efficiently handled.

So what gives, then? Well, the truth is that LOOPER isn't quite as entertaining as it thinks it is. For once, the story doesn't really work under close scrutiny. All of the other time travel movies I've seen have made a point of not allowing the characters to encounter themselves in another time period, as this would cause a paradox. In this one, Willis and Gordon-Levitt share cups of coffee together, and it never quite gels.

In addition, the pacing is off, with long, boring and tension-free interludes spent sitting around in a farmhouse with the miscast Emily Blunt. Yet another twist involves characters who are telekinetic, which is all a little too much; wasn't the time travel plot enough? Although it's not bad for what it is, LOOPER doesn't hold a candle to the ultra-efficient low budget Spanish time travel movie, TIMECRIMES.
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Has its moments but mostly it is ideas without cohesion, flow or spark
bob the moo6 January 2013
Looper was compared (by some, but not many) to The Matrix and Inception in terms of it being a smart film supposedly based on ideas and, to a point I suppose it is. The plot sees hit men recruited in the near future to kill and dispose of people the mob want out of the way; the twist being that these hit men exist many years before the hits need doing and the mob are sending the victims back to be killed and disposed of because in their future getting rid of bodies is apparently very difficult. These hit men are very well paid but, at some point they will do a final contract – their futures selves – at which point they are well paid off and allowed to life out the rest of their lives until the point where they become that person who is sent back to be killed. When Joe is sent back to be killed by himself though, he has other plans, sparking a race to change the future and the present.

It sounds like it could have been a smart film but unfortunately the delivery from concept to filming is lacking. In terms of the ideas it is important not to think too hard about them or else the wheels will immediately fall off – even the idea that mob would have a time machine but not be using it for many other better ideas is one, but there are many others. The story unfolds with messy coincidence and a real lack of cohesion with many ideas and tones banging up against each other in a way that doesn't work – the film never seems to settle into a rhythm or flow and it is quite hard to watch as it is so uneven. I was surprised by how little spark there was to it as well – the filming style seems to be deliberately slow and moody, but the material doesn't support this approach, meaning that the unintended consequence is that the story seems lethargic and quite dull. It still has its moments but mostly it bored me.

The characters and actors don't help. I understand why they wanted Gordon-Levitt to look as much like Willis as possible, but, as impressive as the transformation is, it is endlessly distracting – and considering how much more disbelief I was being asked to suspend by the rest of the film, I don't think it would have been a massive stretch to accept him as he is. The transformation into Willis also hurts Gordon-Levitt's performance as it is so much impersonation that he loses the character; it is excellent in terms of impersonation of mannerisms, tone and the like but there is no character here. Willis doesn't present one either and is so-so. Blunt is more interesting and at least has more to do than Perabo, although the latter will be more memorable to some viewers.

Looper has some good ideas in here but they are presented without much cohesion, flow or spark. The tone of the film is all over the place and it never really got me engaged as it should have done and the manner of the ending suggests they had that as their first idea and sort of pieced it backwards from there. It is a very average film at best.
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Very Decent, very clever
jason-godin23216 October 2012
No Spoilers will be shown, the story is basically the public knowledge shown on the trailers.

The story is about this man named Joe who is played by both Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis. Basically his job is a looper. In the Year 2074 civilization has created time travel however it is highly illegal to use it. It is then controlled by the highest criminal mafia in the world. In the future they cannot kill a person, so instead they send them back 30 years and the looper will kill them. When the young Joe saw the Old Joe standing there, he hesitated and the plot clashed.

The story was very confusing at first, but the movie does a good job to explain to us as it goes along. To be honest at first I thought this was going to be bad, the story took some time to build up, and the plot just didn't seem to have any structure. Once the movie did pick up, boy did it pick up. It became intense as the hunter became the hunted.

The story had emotion, action, we laughed and cried. Many places where things appeared to be stupid ended actually be part of the story and working out. There are though, a lot of silly moments in the story that to my opinion could have been left out and the story would have been just as good. The acting was very good. Also kinda shows how much Bruce Willis is getting old, but can still pack a punch. I give this movie an 8.5/10!
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trans_mauro15 November 2012
Pseudo-intellectual film for the non-thinking masses...

As unattainable as time travel itself are films about time travel....

Usually, they are full of inconsistencies, plot holes and whatever. The climax scene at the end of the film is a good example of how people do not know how to end a film and then come up with some "smart twist" which of course destroyed the whole logic of the story...

It has been a while since I watched a decent science fiction, Looper is another mess, similar to Prometheus.

But at least Prometheus had some eye candy, some nice special effects, Looper has a dry sugar cane field...
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Sci-Fi With a Brain
Michael_Elliott14 January 2013
Looper (2012)

*** 1/2 (out of 4)

I think to fully enjoy LOOPER it's best that you go in with very limited knowledge as to the story and the events that happen. If you've seen the trailer then you know all you need to know. The film takes place in the future where "loopers" kill people being sent back from the future. A loopers job is over when they send his older self back to be killed. LOOPER is a very rare type of science-fiction film meaning that it has a brain, which is something missing from most of these types of movies. I'm not typically a big fan of the genre but there's no question that when someone takes the time to come up with a great story then the result can be something special. Writer-director Rian Johnson deserves a lot of credit for not only making a smart film but he also deserves credit for keeping the viewer on the edge of their seat and not knowing what's going to happen next. I said it's best to view this film knowing very little about what happens and that's because there are so many twists and turns that it would be a real shame for someone to know what happens before actually seeing the film. Even a smart film will often times go off the rails because the twists become confusing and make no sense but that never happens here. The film flows beautifully in and out of every plot twist and in the end the viewer feels rewarded. The performances are another major plus with both Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt doing good work on their own and especially when they're together. Emily Blunt and Paul Dano are also good in their supporting bits. LOOPER is certainly a film that manages to take a familiar plot (time travel) and do something originalwith it.
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Outstanding sci-fi thriller
ten-thousand-marbles3 December 2021
I was impressed by everything this movie had to offer. Noteworthy performances? Joseph Gordon-Levitt's portrayal of the younger version of the Bruce Willis character Joe is at times, stunning. Subtle facial expressions and body language are spot on Bruce Willis. Truly impressive. Although all the performances were solid, the other real standout was Pierce Gagnon as the young boy Cid. At only six years old he turns in a convincing and powerful portrayal of a character who is pivotal to the story. I can honestly say only good things from here. The story and script are compelling. This one is a must see!
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Even Wikipedia has its Limits
inspectors711 February 2016
Beyond the obvious visual pleasure of Emily Blunt in farm-girl chic, there's nothing but incoherence to be found in Rian Johnson's Looper, a movie so chock-full of bewildering nonsense that the viewer needs to loop back to Blunt, or Joseph Gordon-Levitt for the girls. I watched this sci-fier a week ago, and it feels as if I know less now than just after the credits rolled.

I went to my best buddy, Wikipedia, to make sense of Looper by reading the plot synopsis. It didn't help. Like the guy who is having his parts snipped off one by one in the movie--and can see the result 30 years in the past or the future or a week from Thursday--every time I try to figure Looper out, there's less there.

I'm so frustrated with the time-traveling and the telekinesis and the 30 second steak and eggs and the Chevy running in 2044 and the fact that the movie makes no damned sense at all that I just have to accept that Looper, which looked so interesting in the trailers, is a colossal waste of time.
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Several levels of implausibility and not a single likable character
dierregi5 November 2012
Loopers are professional killers who in the year 2044 eliminate assorted people – presumably other criminals - sent from the future. Because the future is a place where they invented time travel, but made it illegal. Also, the future is a place where it is almost impossible to dispose of a body – although when we see it done, it does not seem such a big deal… Anyway, given this bizarre premises we are also explained that loopers are so called because after an indeterminate number of years in the profession, they must close the loop by killing their older self, shipped back from 30 years in the future.

At this stage, whatever effort one made to suspend disbelief comes crashing down. Since they already know that in 30 years they will be executed (by themselves), why these loopers do not try to eliminate the mob king who is systematically ordering their executions? Why do they accept passively to be shipped back to the past with a sack over their head? If this is a serious logical flaw (and there are many others, pointed out by several reviewers), worse is to come, in the shape of a TK obnoxious child, who derails completely the script into an additional dimension of implausibility.

So far we were dealing with ruthless criminals who have no problem shooting, torturing and burning bodies, but suddenly women and children are off-limits. This "honour among thieves" is a well-beloved cliché in mainstream movies, but it is an absurd illusion. In real life, cold-blooded killers kill anybody - women and children included - because they are unsympathetic to all human beings, not just to other adult males. Selective lack of empathy is absurd – and so is this movie. Finally, we have the delusional notion that "love can cure anything". Unfortunately, there are no reported cases of paranoid-schizophrenic cured by mummy's love....

One cannot expect much logic in a movie about time travel, but even low expectations are too high for this mess. The only partial saving grace is Joseph Gordon-Levitt who plays convincingly a despicable character.
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Weak performance
gilgongo198021 November 2019
The movie was not exciting or elaborate. A rather mediocre story that was poorly implemented. Sci-Fi has come too short for me, but I generously give 5/10.
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"Disney's The Kid" Part 2
ghost_dog862 October 2012
If you could go back in time and kill baby Hitler, would you? Like "The Terminator" with a touch of "Firestarter", "Looper" is the newest attempt at creating the next revolutionary Sci-Fi film (because everybody wants to make the next "Blade Runner"). Written and directed by Rian Johnson, the writer/director of the under-appreciated "Brick", and starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis and Emily Blunt, "Looper" tells the story of a dystopian year 2044, where 10 percent of the population has developed laughable "super powers" that don't seem to go beyond levitating quarters and time travel has not yet been invented. But in thirty year's time (in an even more flawed future) time travel will have been invented and quickly outlawed, only to be used by mobsters and the very rich, to send people back to 2044 that they want killed (because in the more distant future it is nearly impossible to get rid of a dead body) and that's where Loopers come in. A Looper is a hired gun of sorts from 2044, who is paid a substantial amount of money (silver) to kill those who are sent back in time by the mob and said very rich. Joe (Levitt) is one of these Loopers. One day he hears a rumor about a man called The Rainmaker, who, from thirty years in the future, is attempting to rid the world of Loopers by sending each Looper's future self back in time for the Looper to in turn, kill. OK, I'll stop here only because I have undoubtedly confused you all by this point, even though there is so much more to this story I could get into, such as the aspect of futuristic drug use, important terminology such as "closing your loop" and how much makeup one would have to apply if their future self came back in time and looked like Bruce Willis.

Levitt's notable transformation: The fact that Levitt and Willis' face look nothing alike, even with a heavy coat of makeup and prosthetics, isn't as distracting (or intriguing) as one would think. In fact, most audiences will become so wrapped up by the story, that they will be inclined to simply ignore any visual flaws this movie has to offer. And aside from the much anticipated makeup aspect of "Looper", the acting from the two male leads isn't all that memorable. In fact, Emily Blunt and the young boy who plays her son (Pierce Gagnon) practically steal the show. But even more interesting than Levitt and Willis' overshadowed performances, is the tone of "Looper" throughout. At times playing for laughs and at others playing more for extreme violence, Johnson seems to be in control of most of his story. Issues only arise when the tone of this film is drastically thrown off on two separate occasions. The first major tonal disruption comes during a crucial plot point (aka when the goal of Willis' character is revealed) which I won't give away, but let's just say when the audience I saw this movie with was blindsided by this aggressively dark plot development (involving children) the somewhat light atmosphere in the theater was thrust into an immediate and very uncomfortable silence. The second tonal aberration comes into play with the introduction of a small child (Gagnon) who throws nasty temper tantrums. Though the real star of the show here is Johnson's script, with an almost perfectly structured plot, "Looper" is only flawed by a few visuals that go awry; all of which are centered around the child character. In short, and not to give too much away, the sequences when the child has his "tantrums" are filmed in such a way, as to resemble something out of a bad episode of "Heroes". And while the unavoidably over-dramatized and unintentionally funny scenes of this child having a fit, in slow motion, doesn't take away anything from this massively intriguing storyline, "Looper" is a perfect example of a film that would have been much more impactful as a book (if you know what I mean).

Final Thought: Is "Looper" the greatest Sci-Fi movie of the year? Yeah, it probably is, seeing that the amount of movies which would fall under the Sci-Fi genre in 2012 is quite thin. And it is worth seeing for the story structure alone, but visually I wasn't as blown away (aside from a few scenes of visual brilliance) as I thought I was going to be. In saying that, the hype machine may have gotten to me far too prematurely, because at the end of the day "Looper" is in fact a well constructed piece of Sci-Fi entertainment, which will be thought of by many as being as innovative as "Inception" was a few years ago (even though "Inception" was a better Sci-Fi film).

Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland

Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus
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